British commitment to Afghanistan firm: Pentagon

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British commitment to Afghanistan has remained firm despite US pressure on BP over the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday.

Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, was asked whether pushing the British energy giant too hard and undermining its financial stability would not hurt the alliance.

"My judgement is that the president is focused on holding BP accountable for its responsibilities in this disaster," she said.

"I also believe based on Secretary (Robert) Gates' recent interactions and others with our British counterparts in the new government there, that their commitment to Afghanistan remains quite firm, and remains so even in the face of tremendous economic pressure that they have already experienced," she said.

Gates met last week in London with new British Prime Minister David Cameron and Defense Secretary Liam Fox, and said afterwards that Britain was "resolute" in its commitment to the Afghan war.

© 2010 AFP

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